Seven Basic Principles of Vacuum Truck Safety
The purpose of the GICC is to help save lives and reduce injuries in the industrial cleaning industry. Our mission is to help national safety associations adopt basic cleaning principles in high pressure waterjetting, municipal/vacuum truck cleaning, chemical cleaning, and respiratory protection that are easy to implement country by country.
#1 Joint Responsibility
Asset Owners, Manufacturers/Suppliers of Equipment, and Industrial Cleaning Contractors have the joint responsibility to collaboratively create and implement safety guidelines.
#2 Three Areas of Focus
Safety guidelines should focus on…
Methods: use the safest possible method and processes to clean
Means: properly select and use the right type of equipment and tooling
People take personal responsibility to understand and follow safety guidelines; commit to training
#3 Staff Education and Training
Operators and supervisors should be educated and trained on how to work safely and effectively and committed to ongoing and repeated training.
#4 Sharing Knowledge and Continuous Learning
New developments in safe working practices should be followed and sharing of knowledge is encouraged. Each safety organization should have a reporting system for accidents and near misses.
#5 Assurance of the Guidelines
Contractors and Asset Owners need to work together to ensure proper working methods are in place, only properly skilled, trained and certified people are working on-site, and that equipment being used meets proper specifications and maintenance cycle/certification as required by the manufacturer or certifying body.
#6 Working with Safe Equipment
Only work with safe industrial vacuum equipment. Know and follow the manufacturer’s recommended operating and maintenance procedures.
- Always Ground and Bond the Industrial Vacuum Unit When Working with Flammable, Explosive or Hazardous Substances
- Properly Maintain and Inspect Equipment, Tooling and Components
- Never Work on an Operating or Energized System
- Ensure the System is Setup Properly
- Never Overfill an Industrial Vacuum Tank
- Ensure That Vacuum Truck Can Adequately Remove Material
#7 Working According to Safe Methods
Industrial vacuuming activities should be carried out using the safest and least physically arduous working method possible. Every method has specific tasks, responsibilities and precautionary measures. The goal is to keep everyone safe and out of the line of fire and work to a professional standard.
- Complete Work According to the Safest Methods Possible
- Never Perform Industrial Vacuum Work Alone Unless Deemed a Low Risk Operation
- Never Enter Confined Spaces Without Appropriate Permits and Without Direct Line of Site or Appropriate Communication with the Operator if Line of Sight Is Not Possible
- Consider and Mitigate Possible Explosive Atmosphere Risk
- Before Starting Cleaning Activity, Ensure Vacuum Unit Has Been Rinsed Out
- Be Informed About the Material Being Vacuumed
- Never Cross Contaminate Materials in the Vacuum Unit
- Always Wear Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Be Aware of and Identify Industrial Vacuuming Hazards
- While the Vacuum Unit is in Operation, Keep Body Parts Away from the End of the Hose
- In the Event of an Emergency, Shut Off Vacuum Unit Immediately
- Adhere to All Transportation Safety Guidelines when Transporting Equipment and/or Materials
- Vacuumed Material Must be Disposed of in an Appropriate Manner
- Follow Lockout-Tagout Procedures
- Exercise Caution Around Mechanical Hazards
- Always Perform a Last-Minute Risk Assessment (LMRA)